Photo of Frank Weisser, USNA Class '00, as Blue Angel #5, Lead Solo
Frank was one of the first graduates of the USNA AFF program, achieving status as an experienced skydiver. The AFF program was precursor to the USNAPT charter formation in 2008. He went on to Naval Air, subsequently joining the Blue Angels. After return to the fleet, then retirement as a CDR, Frank was contracted as one of the actual pilots in the movie 'TOP GUN - Maverick', working with star Tom Cruise.
Frank reported to Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Fla., for aviation indoctrination in October 2000. He completed primary flight training in the T-34C Mentor at NAS Whiting Field, Fla., and transferred to NAS Meridian, Miss., for intermediate and advanced flight training in the T-2C Buckeye and the T-45C Goshawk. He received his wings of gold in November 2002.
Frank remained with Training Squadron 7 (VT-7) as an Instructor Pilot in the T-45C as a Selectively Retained Graduate (SERGRAD). During his tour, Frank served as the Squadron Facilities Manager and Schedules Officer. In June 2004, he reported to Strike Fighter Squadron 106 (VFA-106), the "Gladiators," at NAS Oceana, Va., for training in the F/A-18C Hornet.
In April 2005, he reported to Strike Fighter Squadron 87 (VFA-87), the "War Party," where he deployed aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) in August 2005. During this deployment, Frank flew 34 combat missions over Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. While with the "War Party," Frank served as the Schedules Officer, Avionics/Armament (AV/ARM) Division Officer, Naval Air Training and Operation Procedures Standardization (NATOPS) Officer, Assistant Operations Officer and Landing Signals Officer (LSO). While there, Frank was awarded the Lieutenant Charles Nelson Award for Junior Officer Leadership and contributed to the "War Party" receiving the 2005 and 2006 Battle "E" for sustained superior performance in an operational environment.
Frank joined the Blue Angels in September 2007. He served as the Narrator and VIP Pilot in 2008 and as the Opposing Solo pilot and NATOPS Officer in 2009. He has accumulated more than 3200 flight hours and nearly 200 carrier arrested landings. He earned a Master's Degree in Systems Analysis from the Naval Postgraduate School in September 2009. His decorations include the Strike Flight Air Medal, three Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals and various personal and unit awards. He flew Lead Solo in the #5 plane.